Living with Alcoholic People is Tough

Living with Alcoholic People is Tough

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Are you living with alcoholic people in your home?  Do you have a family member who is alcoholic?   If so then that is a tough situation and there are definitely no easy answers.  It would be nice if there were a magic wand that we could wave and somehow make them get clean and sober.  It does not work this way, unfortunately.

So if you are living with an alcoholic, what can you do to help the situation?  Here are some suggestions for you:

1) Get to Al-Anon – this is the number one biggest thing that you can do for both yourself and for the alcoholic in your life. YOU need to go to Al-anon.  Now you are probably a bit miffed at this idea, thinking “hey wait a second….shouldn’t THEY go to AA or something?  Why do I have to be the one to go to meetings here?”  But this is the best way for you to get them closer to making the decision to get sober.  If they are ever going to change, then you have to stop enabling them and get out of their way and allow this to happen.  You don’t have to be mean to them, but you do have to set some boundaries and make it clear that you are not going to be a part of their drinking any more.  If they land in jail, you leave them there.  If they are hung over and cannot make it to work, you do not call in sick for them.  You let them face their own consequences.  Learning how to do this and do it consistently is part of what you will learn at Al-anon.

2) Don’t drink with the person, or use drugs with them. Doing so gives them “permission.”

3) Encourage them to get treatment – at some point, you may or may not do a full scale intervention of some sort.  Probably not worth it in most cases, as most people are either ready for rehab, or they are not….and no family organized intervention is going to change that level of willingness.  Sometimes people are willing to go to rehab because they feel guilty, but they are not at a point where they really want to change their life for themselves.  So be careful about trying to push someone into rehab too hard.  It can be a waste of time and money and it might just not work in most cases, especially if they have not surrendered to their disease.  If they are willing to do whatever you tell them, then that is a good sign that they are ready to quit drinking.  If they are resistant in any way, then they are probably still in denial.

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